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Going Mobile! Financing 101 with John Stockman

Special Guests

John Stockman

John's been changing lives over the past 13 years one groomer at a time with Wag'n Tails Mobile Conversions. He is the National Sales Manager at the up-fitter transportation company that helps groomers save time and make money by taking their show on the road. His favorite part of his job is getting that phone call nine months after a new client has purchased a van and hearing how going mobile has changed their whole life. They have time for their kids, their relationship with their family is better, and they have less stress with more profit. John and Wag'n Tails pride themselves on being the go-to educational resource for clients who want to start a mobile grooming enterprise.

Joe Zuccarello talks with John Stockman of Wag’n Tails Mobile Conversions about the best ways to finance a mobile grooming operation. Learn about mobile-specific loan complexities, establishing your brand, and more!

  • How do I scope out my market and take on a reasonable number of clients?
  • What should I do to manage my debt? How important is my credit?
  • How should I finance a mobile grooming van?
  • What is verifiable income? What impact will it have on my business?

Tune in to find out.

Transcript
Announcer: Welcome to Hey Joe. A podcast answering questions asked by our listeners. Created by pet professionals for pet professionals. And now, your host, Hey Joe’s very own Joe Zuccarello.

Joe Zuccarello: What’s up everyone? Joe Zuccarello here and welcome to Hey Joe. A podcast brought to you by Paragon School of Pet Grooming. Check out our site at paragonpetschool.com for lots of really cool information on a variety of programs, products, and to connect to educational resources such as webinars, podcasts, current events, special news, certifications, and lots of other helpful information to help you grow yourself, your team, and of course your business. Let’s get started with this weeks episode.

Joe Zuccarello: Hey everyone, this is Joe Zuccarello your host of the Hey Joe podcast. Like we do oftentimes we could talk to one guest for days and days and days because the guests that we have on the Hey Joe podcast are so experts in their field, and sometimes though we have to pick these things up and these topics. We have yet another repeat, a returning guest to the Hey Joe podcast today and it’s John Stockman. John leads a team over at Wag’n Tails Mobile Grooming Units and John thank you for being part of the Hey Joe podcast again today.

John Stockman: Hey Joe, good to be here.

Joe Zuccarello: Now John and I have a really exciting part of the topic with you. As we’ve talked before John, you and I we’ve talked about a variety of different things like career paths or groomers and all of the choices that they have. If the Hey Joe listener audience out there has not heard from you yet tell us a little bit about John and tell us a little bit about Wag’n Tails.

John Stockman: Well I’ve been with Wag’n Tails just a brief amount of time, only about 14 years. Wag’n Tails has been around close to 50. We started out as a salon grooming company with four or five salons and then we started mobile. We had a mobile grooming operation that grew to a fleet of 22 vans, and then since about ’96 we’ve been doing exclusively building and selling the worlds best grooming van conversions for groomers. We’ve been doing that since, well I guess it’s coming up on 24 years. We not only build the vans, we become our clients best business partner. We teach them how to launch, operate, and grow the business. Our success is basically due to our client’s success because they go out armed with all the knowledge that we’ve amassed in the last 50 years and we’re always here to consult whenever they need help. Yeah, it’s more than a grooming van conversion, it’s a conversion company. It’s more like a franchise except we don’t stick our hand in your pocket every month. We provide you all the support you need to be successful. That’s pretty much what Wag’n Tails is all about.

Joe Zuccarello: Well and that’s what makes your business so encouraging and your business so attractive I think to the clients that have purchased your units before and to those that will purchase them in the future. Certainly to me, as a pet professional in the business for so long, you’re not in it to sell a van or a mobile unit, you’re in it to make sure that you essentially step in side by side and you want to see a successful business, not just a successful purchase of a van. This industry really thrives on relationships and it’s good that you are looking to these new mobile operators as heroes for their customers. I will tell you, I am a benefactor of mobile grooming. I work a very busy schedule and that is my choice for a grooming service.

Joe Zuccarello: It’s not taking away from any grooming salons out there, it’s my imposition, it’s my schedule that demands the solution of a mobile van. That lead us into what we’re talking about today which is these career paths for groomers. There’s lots of choices. You can work in a salon, now there’s in-home grooming. I see groomers strapping folding tables on their back like big backpacks and Sherpa, almost like groomer Sherpa’s going from home to home, especially in urban communities and such. Then of course one of the options is mobile and that’s pulling up with a beautiful rig in the driveway or out front and grooming your pet in the mobile. If you have not listened… This goes directly out to you guys, the Hey Joe listener audience out there, if you have not listened to the previous episodes with John Stockman and I please do. Again, the previous episodes really do focus on operating your mobile unit and marketing your mobile business. Go back and take a look at those.

Joe Zuccarello: Today’s episode’s going to be split into three parts, one of those is the big thought. Can I do this? Is this something I’m even… This thought’s in my brain, what should I do with that thought? The big step, the research part of it, and then of course the big decision, what do I do next? As far as the thought, John what’s the mentality? Here’s some questions that I threw down in show prep just to think… Some of these thoughts are going through their head. Can I be my own boss? Am I disciplined enough? What other things go into that early thought process of becoming a mobile business or not?

John Stockman: Yeah, I mean our family’s grown to… We’re approaching 3,600 now clients out there and really the thought process is are you ready to basically control your own life? When you decide that you’re going to go mobile there’s some considerations you need to take. First of all if you need that heavy socialization throughout the day constantly, mobile grooming’s not for you. If you want to have that day to day to day to day interaction the whole time you need to look elsewhere. But if you are motivated and you like working for yourself and being on your own and having a different scenery and basically a different day everyday then you might want to take a look at mobile grooming. You basically get your life back.

John Stockman: You are the one that determines the day you groom, the hours you groom. It’s not like where you’re in a salon setting where people expect you to be there at 7:00 am and still be there at 6:00 pm. You setup your own day. If you don’t want to work on Tuesday afternoons because you want to get together with some of your friends and do things, just don’t book anybody then. Nobody knows when you’re working, you’re not working. You really have total control. I get calls from groomers all the time I’m doing 12 dogs a day and I said, “Well that’s your own fault. Nobody’s making you do that many.” You don’t need to do that many to be profitable. Our business model calls for six dogs a day, five days a week, with four weeks of vacation a year, and gross revenue over $100k.

John Stockman: The decision you need to make is am I motivated? Do I want to take control and can I deal without the constant socialization day in and day out? You’ll socialize when you pick the pet up and when you give the pet back at the front door and you will become a valued member of the family of that pet simply because you’re doing such a great job taking care of little Fluffy or Fido. That’s the primary thought process that goes into it.

Joe Zuccarello: You started to also touch on a little bit… That’s your thought process but now we get into okay, now I’m going to start doing some research. I’m going to start the very first big step. Okay, you know what? Some of those things might be appealing to me, and to your point… This is what I love about you and I love about Wag’n Tails. Is you’re cutting everybody a little bit of slack for themselves. You’re saying, “Listen, it might not be right for you, but if in your life there’s an obstacle and you want to get passed it you need somebody to step in and walk side by side with you and be your guide and help show you a plan of how you might be able to reach the success that you’re looking for.” Part of that is doing your research, so looking at all of your options.

Joe Zuccarello: Does that match your income goals? Again, you’re weighing those against a variety of different things, but now you’re into more research and development, and the big decision we’re going to talk about next, and which is the main part of our podcast, which is can you afford it and how do you afford it? But during that research and development if you were going to key in on a couple of things that you could give a couple of nuggets of gold to people as they’re looking at the research of going mobile. What are some of the areas you’d say, “Listen, key in on these things and make your big decisions on those.”

John Stockman: Yeah, well the first thing you want to do is you want to get a feel for the market that you’re in. Now the market for mobile grooming is very broad. There are pockets and neighborhoods that you want to look around and see where your clientele is going to come from. Getting clientele, as crazy as it sounds, is the easiest part. I spent a lot of time teaching our clients how to say no, but there’s plenty of clientele out there, you charge a premium price so you get a premium clientele because of that. But you want to look around. Are there lawn services that are successful? Do you see them all over the neighborhoods? What about pool cleaners? These people that are your clients are not… They’re busy. The kids have activities, they both work, so they want to take care of the pet, it’s time that they don’t have and you’re giving them a great gift, you’re giving them the gift of time and you’re taking care of Fluffy in the process.

John Stockman: That’s something that you want to look at. Now if you’re rural then you can look at some town around you where you can do a hub and spoke and go out and work in one town all day and come back. But we teach you all the routing and scheduling and that kind of thing. That’s one of the things that you want to look at and we can help you with that. You can call us on the phone and we can take a look at your area and we can give you an idea, we can tell you what average pricing’s like in that area, there’s plenty of research in that. That’s one thing you want to look at.

John Stockman: The other thing you want to look at is which vehicle’s going to be right for me? Do I need the great big one with the bathroom? Do I want something smaller, more maneuverable, more fuel efficient? There’s a bunch of things you’ll want to consider. Of course we can help you with that. We can ask a few questions and try to point you in a way that we think is the best fit. Beyond that the market is there, it’s everywhere, there’s so much untapped potential it’s silly. It’s not unusual for a van to be fully booked in three months, six months, and profitable the first month because it’s such low overhead.

Joe Zuccarello: Right, so as they’re navigating through all of that let’s then talk about they’ve done some due diligence, some of those are great tips to help identify, and also not only identify on their own but then how do they find those sources or those resources, that vault of information if you would by reaching out to you guys? Let’s now get to the real meat and potatoes of this particular episode, which is can I afford it or how can I afford it? Now we’re going to start talking about I guess one way somebody could pay cash. You guys would never turn down cash I bet. If you’ve got a stockpile of cash and you want to order a mobile unit okay, but most people like us we’re going to borrow money. Some of us have borrowed money before, some of us have not borrowed money before. Let’s go into a little bit of basic lending criteria. Based on your experience John there are three main criteria for evaluating what you and our show prep called credit worthiness. Let’s dive into the first one. The first one you point out is credit score. Give us your take on credit score.

John Stockman: Sure. I think everybody’s familiar with credit score and that’s one of the factors that the bank looks at. Now regardless of whether it’s Ford Motor Credit or your local banker down the street, the FICO scores from the three main sources, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax those three scores are basically a measure of your overall credit worthiness. They take into account the credit history. Did you make payments on time? That kind of thing. What the lenders want to see is a good credit score, but that’s not the only thing that they look at. There’s been a lot of TV commercials and things where they’ve led to a misconception that the banks only look at the score and that’s it. If you’ve got a 780 you can get a loan no matter, lickety split like that. They go beyond that.

John Stockman: The credit score, somewhere in the 650 and up are seen as good credit scores. The scores actually range from 300 up to 850, and a 650 up to 699 is moderate and 700 and above is what they would consider excellent. That’s something they look at but it’s not the only thing they look at.

Joe Zuccarello: Right, so now we get into the other factors, and again unless we do our homework and unless we’ve been down this road before we don’t know any better, so this is probably serving a lot of our Hey Joe listener audience out there because you’re right, we see these get your credit score free dot com and all of these other, which is great maybe to make sure you maybe haven’t been a victim of identity theft and such. But it doesn’t necessarily, to your point, doesn’t necessarily mean because you have that high score that you’re going to get your loan or that you’re going to have credit worthiness. The second factor is debt to income ratio. This is a beefy one, so this has got quite a bit to cover. In debt to income ratio what level of importance have you found that lenders that you know put on this particular element?

John Stockman: Yeah, it’s a real important factor. Basically what debt to income ratio looks at is can this person afford to pay me back? They take everything that goes out every month to satisfy debt, and that would be credit cards, auto loans, mortgages or rent payments, and then they add a average van payment to that and then they divide that by gross income. A couple things real quick. Credit cards, if you pay them well, don’t hurt. They don’t really necessarily help, but if they’re paid well they aren’t going to hurt you. If they’re not paid well they really can, so make your payments.

John Stockman: The other thing that they’re going to do is they’re going to look at your gross income and gross income is the top line on the paycheck, if you will. It’s before anything is deducted for insurance, taxes, anything like that. When they look at the gross income it’s going to be everything that you get, tips, everything that comes into your pocket without anything being deducted. When they look at that with what goes out every month for debt they do that calculation and they want to see it below 50%, but sometimes it could be a little higher, a little lower, depending on other factors. They want to see something around 50%. If your gross income is $6,000 a month and your debt going out is $2,000 a month then you’re in good shape, it’s only 1/3, 33%. They look at that as an indication that you can afford the loan.

John Stockman: Those numbers are numbers I just pulled out of mid-air. You don’t have to have $6,000 a month, you can have less than that. They want to see that you have the ability to pay the loan back, and that is based on where you are at that moment. It’s like taking a picture, it’s a snapshot.

Joe Zuccarello: John, so if that’s a snapshot and somebody is obviously not a mobile groomer yet because the business model of mobile grooming is different than static or in salon grooming or even private in-home grooming. The lender will understand and we’re going to talk a little bit in a little while about how you go to bat for your clients in helping lenders to understand this business a little bit more. One thing I wanted to point out, when you said it’s a snapshot of where they are right now, there’s something really big to be said for verifiable income. What I mean by that is there are… I think it’s becoming fewer and fewer, but I know, I’ve been in the industry long enough, I know that there’s a lot of opportunities out there to groom for cash.

John Stockman: Yeah.

Joe Zuccarello: Cash paid and it goes into somebody’s pocket and it’s not reported. That can hurt you when you go to look for verifiable income. I mean it’s not what you say you made, it’s what you can prove you made.

John Stockman: Yeah, a couple things about that. Put it in the bank, just do it. I mean it’s the right way to go. Having said that, the bulk of our lenders with a couple of exceptions don’t require bank statements or tax returns. Most of them are application only, and they understand that there’s quite a bit of cash involved in this business, so when we tell what the gross income is we include cash and tips in that. But put it in the bank. It’s not worth messing with because that can come back and haunt you later in a couple ways.

John Stockman: You may look to expand your business and need another loan on another vehicle because there’s so much business out there you’re tired of turning it away. Then somebody might say, “Well show me the bank statements.” The other thing is it’s the right thing to do as far as some government agencies don’t look on that so kindly. Like I said, it’s a snapshot and they won’t take into account how much money you’re going to make. They look at it as it is right there today. As much as we would like to say, “Well the potential income for this is XYZ,” and we know it is, the banks look at their lending criteria and don’t take that into account. We’re going to put a pretty good presentation together to get you in front of the lender. We’ll get to that here in a little bit.

Joe Zuccarello: Right, so obviously the only way to improve that, to your point is either reduce your debt or increase your income, or in a perfect sweep do both. Again, to the Hey Joe listener audience out there, we’re talking to John Stockman with Wag’n Tails and we’re talking about financing, actually getting you to a point where you are looking to make a purchase and how can you make it affordable and how can you afford to do that? We’re touching on a couple of these factors in basic lending criteria, and I guess just to let you know a little bit of a disclaimer, probably should have said this ahead of time.

Joe Zuccarello: Neither one of us, well I don’t know John maybe you’re an accountant but I’m not. Nor am I a loan officer in a lending institution. Obviously turn to the pros for those. This is based on our experience and we’re sharing some experiences to you, the listener audience, so that you have a little bit of ammunition and a little bit more maybe than what you had before you started listening. I know that one thing is true is that credit cards, to your point about credit cards is good payments on credit cards great, maxed out credit cards are not so great, but if you do pay your credit card many lenders and financial advisors will tell you don’t close the account. That can actually hurt your credit score.

John Stockman: Right, right. Yeah I see and it’s amazing sometimes. I see credit reports come in here. I saw one the other day they had 26 revolving debt credit cards. Now most of them didn’t have any balance on them but it’s like who in the world needs 26 credit cards? It was insane and I see them a lot of times with 10 or 15 of them too. The thing of it is… What we encourage you to do when you’re operating a mobile grooming business is use a credit card for business, nothing but business. It makes accounting a lot easier and all that kind of thing. You don’t need 15 or 20 of them, but don’t carry high balances. If you’re carrying a high balance and you’re paying the minimum every month that’s going to affect that credit score and the lender’s going to go, “Hmm, not too sure about that one.” Because basically they’re looking at you’re meeting your monthly obligations and carrying high limit credit cards is not looked on real favorably.

Joe Zuccarello: Well and too, any activity in clusters. Let’s say you are actively in a loan consideration process, whether it’s for a mobile van, a house, whatever, sit tight, don’t get over anxious and go and then start saying, “Okay, I know I’m going to get my van so I need to go out and buy this and buy this and buy that and buy that. Okay well I don’t have enough cash. I’m going to open up another credit card or a home equity loan.”

John Stockman: Right.

Joe Zuccarello: Try to go radio silent for a while until you get one lending situation buttoned up. Would you agree?

John Stockman: Right, yeah no that’s true. Just because you have… The lenders like to see debt. I mean they like to see well paid debt, there’s no doubt about that. I get people that come here that have… they’ve got no debt. That doesn’t necessarily help. People that apply for loans that they’ve got a credit score but their credit score’s super high but their entire debt portfolio is a credit card. We’ll get into what the next step is about the high credit limit.

Joe Zuccarello: Let’s go there.

John Stockman: Manage your credit cards folks.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah, let’s go ahead and let’s jump right into the high credit limit. What does that mean?

John Stockman: Yeah, well the third thing they look at and this is another major indicator of your credit viability is have you managed a large loan like this before? Again, if your entire debt portfolio is a couple credit cards there’s no warm and fuzzy feeling on the lender that you can handle a loan for $60,000, $70,000 or whatever it is you’re asking for. They want to see have you managed a loan like this before? They like to see cars, that’s a big one. Some lenders like Ford Credit they like to see mortgages, business loans, anything that’s an installment debt rather than a revolving debt like a credit card. Those are the things they like to see. Have you had a $50,000 car that you paid off or paid well?

John Stockman: They like to see auto credit, they like to see in a lot of cases any kind of installment debt. They want to say, “Yeah, this person has managed debt well, they paid it well, they don’t have late payments, there’s no collections going on, there’s no charge offs, that kind of thing. That’s really an important factor too. FICO score, debt to income, and then this high credit. Do you have experience handling a loan like this?

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah, all great points. Thank you for that. Let’s jump into now the latter stages of this, can I afford a thing? Now I’m going to go out and look for financing options.

John Stockman: Yeah, before we move on Joe.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah, go ahead. Sure.

John Stockman: One final point here. There’s nothing in these three things your score, your high credit limit, your debt to income ratio, you can get help with those. Co-signers are common. In a lot of cases it’s a parent or a relative or a significant other. Co-signers are perfectly legit and they can help you with that debt to income ratio, high credit limit, credit scores, those kind of things can be helped with a co-signer. I do want to mention, we have a lot of times we’ll have a groomer come in and she’ll put a credit application in. Scores are great, managed high credit before, that looks good, but the debt to income ratio’s all out of whack. Well if they have a spouse, which most of the cases that we see this is the case, what they will do is you’ve got both spouses on a mortgage, both spouses sign on cars, those kind of things.

John Stockman: If you come in and apply for yourself, I want to do this on my own, they’re going to look at just your gross income but both you all’s debt. They will say that if you just put your income in then they will calculate the debt to income ratio with the entire mortgage payment, the entire car payment, those kind of things. A lot of times you’ll need to get the spouse on there too to get that debt to income ratio squared away. Co-signers are common. We will know, once we see your credit report whether you need a co-signer. I mean we have a pretty good understanding of exactly how we want to present this to the lender based on what we see on the credit report. We’re pretty good at it, we’ve done it about a zillion times. We know when we have a look at it that we’ll know what we need to do to make it look better and how to present it. Moving on from that then yeah, sorry about that but I wanted to get that in before we moved on.

Joe Zuccarello: No, I’m glad you stopped me because that’s very important information. Just because somebody might not look so perfect and shiny themselves, sometimes you get somebody else involved, which to your point is very common. Now it’s a much more attractive scenario, so thanks for adding that, I appreciate it.

John Stockman: Yep, no problem.

Joe Zuccarello: Now we’re going to figure out okay, well where am I going to get the dough from? Where am I going to go get my money from?

John Stockman: Right, exactly.

Joe Zuccarello: Some people might say, “Well listen, I’ve got a great relationship with my credit union, my bank, whatever.” Or I know that obviously Wag’n Tails offers… Because you already have some relationship with lenders there’s obviously… Maybe that’s a fast track, a fast pass to the front of the line because you understand it. But if somebody is really interested in looking to get their own financing, probably not impossible, but what do they need to be prepared for if they’re going at it on their own?

John Stockman: Right, right, well and we’ve got relationships with several lenders. I mean Ford Motor Credit, Chrysler Financial, the car companies, lenders, and others. We have some that won’t touch a startup, we have others that will. Ford Motor Credit does startup, Chrysler, Allay. We can get startups financed, that’s not a problem. A lot of times banks they want you in business two years before they’ll even talk to you. Having said that, it doesn’t matter to us where you finance it, it’s not like we profit off of financing. It’s basically we provide the conduit and service to our clients because we’ve already got those relationships.

John Stockman: However, we also want our clients to get the best deal, so if they can go out and get their own financing and get a better rate or different terms we strongly encourage that. We want you to get the best deal you can plain and simple. Now there are some things that you want to, before you go down that too far down that road of working with your banker or credit union, some things you want to make sure that you take care of up front so that you don’t go waste a lot of time or invest a lot of time and energy only to find out later that they don’t finance commercial vehicles. A lot of banks don’t. What you want to ask them is do you finance commercial vehicles and will you finance this van with a specialty outfit?

John Stockman: A lot of times that ends the conversation right there because they want to… What they want to do is they want to evaluate… Anytime you’re buying a vehicle from a bank the first thing they do is they go to Kelly Blue Book or whatever and they want to look up a value that the van has in five years or over the term of the loan that you’re asking for. They want to make sure that this vehicle is something that they can establish a value. The reason they do that is in case God forbid they get it back.

John Stockman: What they want to try to do is establish that value. Now they can look at a Ford Transit van that’s five years old and establish a value for that Ford Transit van. However, there’s no blue book for the grooming equipment and the conversion. That sometimes will make them shy away, because half of the price of the loan is the conversion. You want to find out if they will finance the grooming conversion equipment that doesn’t have that blue book value like the van itself, the chassis does. Do you finance commercial vehicles and then with the specialty outfit?

John Stockman: Then the other thing you want to ask them if there’s a pre-payment penalty on the loan because a lot of our clients pay them early or pay more every month. You don’t want to be penalized for that. You want to make sure that they don’t have a pre-payment penalty if you want to pay off the van early and a lot of our clients do that.

Joe Zuccarello: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah and to your point you help them understand what that business model looks like and how they can get to that point. I mean there’s nothing better then having that debt not being part of their daily thought process as well, so it’s very [crosstalk 00:32:00].

John Stockman: Right, exactly mm-hmm (affirmative).

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah, all right.

John Stockman: The advantage is our lenders they already know our business model, they already understand it. We’ve got a long track record with them and they know that our clients pay their loans and pay them well because they go out and make good money. To them we’re not the big risk that you might look like to your local banker, especially if you’re a startup. Our lenders already know. I mean they’ve been here, they visit us, we go visit them, we bring a van to Ford Motor Commercial Credit Company down in Tennessee once a year and show them the latest model and brief their lending analysts on all that stuff, and then we have at these different lending companies or bankers, if you will, or lenders, we have dedicated people that look at our request for financing. They don’t go flying in, they go to specific person or two people that understand it and strictly look at our stuff. Ours only go to those people. We have dedicated people at the different financial institutions that look at our deals only, they don’t go to other people in that organization.

John Stockman: The reason for that is because the specialty nature and we’ve trained them and they know what to look for and what we’re all about. It’s a significant advantage that we have because of our relationship with the lenders.

Joe Zuccarello: Right, well and because this is a special relationship and really a specialty purchase in many cases, and let’s touch very briefly on specialty insurance then. Do the lenders require proof of insurance?

John Stockman: Oh yeah.

Joe Zuccarello: How does this sit with lenders? If we have to have specialty lending for our special business, what about specialty insurance?

John Stockman: Yeah, like all vehicle purchases, the vehicle has to be insured before it leaves. That’s true across the board. Because of the nature of our vehicles and the conversion equipment that’s in them and the groomers tools, which you know is a significant investment, all groomers know that, you want to make sure that you have all that covered. Excuse me. We have a couple of insurance companies that if I had to put a percentage on it I’d say 95% or higher they insure our clients vehicles. Pet Biz is one, Governor Insurance is the other. They have policies and they’re underwritten by major companies, Hartford, anyway big insurance companies that you’ve heard of.

John Stockman: What they cover is they cover the van of course, they cover the contents, so all your tools, they cover the conversion, all the stuff that we do. They also have loss of income insurance in case… Excuse me. In case the van’s in an accident so while the van’s being repaired you’re not starving to death. Then they also have a million dollar umbrella liability policy in case the pet gets hurt or what not. It’s a complete coverage. Now most of the time if you went to your local Allstate guy or State Farm lady or whatever, they’re not going to really understand what it is they’re insuring, where these insurance companies know. I mean they specialize in pet services. They do salons and virtually every kind of pet stores and what not.

John Stockman: They do specialize in these vehicles. Now having said that, there’s nothing that says you can’t shop it. Get a quote from them and go see what State Farm can do or what Allstate can do. Generally they’re not going to come anywhere close simply because of the volume and the specialized nature that Pet Biz and Governor offer. If they weren’t doing it right they wouldn’t be insuring 95% of our clients or more. I mean it’s rare that somebody comes with a policy that’s not from one of them. I mean we get the Geico’s and we get the Allstate’s, it happens but it’s something that you really want to take into account going in because you don’t want to come to the point where the van’s in an accident and you find out the table’s not covered, the tub, the water tanks, none of that’s covered. Then you got a mess on your hands. You want to make sure that you’re doing it right.

Joe Zuccarello: Right, and beyond even doing it right and it’s very important, don’t get me wrong but it’s a no brainer. I mean if this path’s already been tread why not go down that path? I would think that it’s a much faster, smoother, and painless process for the person contemplating buying a mobile rig, mobile unit. John, very informative. Oh my gosh. I mean I hope that all of you out there in the Hey Joe listener audience, if you’ve been teetering with the idea and again, there’s several career paths. You can go anywhere you want to go. You can be in a salon, you can be in a multi-unit retailer as part of their services team. Again, you can decide that you’re going to Sherpa a table up into somebody’s home and groom in the home. All of these things are viable options and what a great industry we have that you have lots and lots of options to make.

Joe Zuccarello: Should it be in the direction of mobile John what can anybody that’s listening to Hey Joe listener audience out there, anybody listening to this podcast, what are their next steps? What would you recommend if they want to learn more?

John Stockman: Yeah, it’s difficult to cover all this stuff in a podcast. I mean as fantastic as these Hey Joe podcasts are, they generate more questions and it’s impossible for us to cover everything. Basically you got questions in your head, you want answers, you call Wag’n Tails, or you can email john@wagntails.com or call 800-513-0304 and pick our brains. We don’t do any pressure tactics or anything like that. We’re happy to answer any questions you have. Basically the process, once you want to get started, we have an online credit application on our home page at wagntails.com. You fill that out and we get busy for you. There’s no obligation at all. We can put you through the approval process, it takes a matter of 24 hours once we submit it. When we submit it we’ll show them the numbers but we’re also going to show them you.

John Stockman: We’ll get a bio on you, we’ll put together basically what it is is a sales presentation on you to the lender to explain to them why they need to make this loan and why it’s a great credit risk and why they’d be absolutely idiots if they didn’t approve you. We don’t do it that way but what we do is we basically sell it. We’re really good at it. We have a lot of experience at it and if you meet the basic lending criteria there’s no reason why you couldn’t get approved. Down payments vary, so we can talk about all that. Just give us a call, or if you want to get the process started go to wagntails.com, fill out the application, and as soon as we have your credit report we’ll ring your phone and we’ll strategize and see what we can do for you.

John Stockman: Anytime you have any questions about anything mobile grooming we’ve been at this for a long time and we’ve got a lot of knowledge and we’d love to share it. Don’t ever hesitate to give us a call at 800-513-0304.

Joe Zuccarello: John, a wealth of information, a wealth of knowledge. I am sure that I will be continuing to pick your brain on the mobile grooming world in future podcasts. Thanks again for being a guest. I appreciate it.

John Stockman: Yeah, happy to do it Joe. Look forward to talking to you again.

Joe Zuccarello: All right, take care.

John Stockman: All right, buh-bye.

About Joe

Joe Zuccarello is VP of the Paragon School of Pet Grooming, leaders in grooming education on campus and online. He possesses more than three decades of experience in the pet grooming, product development and pet business consulting disciplines.

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